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Preview: Africa Unchained

Emergent Africa

Inspired by George Ayittey's book 'Africa Unchained'.

Updated: 2017-03-29T15:31:48.600-04:00


Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa


Baltasar Garzón and William Bourdon writing in the Guardian:
African whistleblowers need safe and secure means to share sensitive documents and evidence with journalists and authorities. This is why we – activists, lawyers and artists – are launching the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) to put our experience at the service of people wishing to disclose compromising information in particularly difficult and dangerous contexts. Whistleblowers need a crowd of experts to shield them from the almost certain reprisals and threats that await.
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The Pastor as Sexual Object


Ebenezer Obadere writes:
At the core of my ongoing study of Pentecostal pastors and changing forms of authority in Africa are two related premises.

First, due to a variety of factors, partly socio-economic, but also cultural as well as political, the landscape of authority across a majority of African states has altered radically over the last three decades. For example: if one effect of the combined militarization of the state and ‘Structural Adjustment’ of the economies of many African countries in the 1980s was the impoverishment of the academy, its logic has been the delegitimizing of universities themselves as authoritative centers of knowledge production...[more]

Africa Uncensored


In the investigative journalism space:
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Africa Uncensored is an independent media house set up by Kenya’s finest investigative journalists. Our goal is to investigate, expose and empower.

An Introduction to Generative Justice


Over at the p2p foundation a paper by Ron Eglash:

Marx proposed that capitalism’s destructive force is caused, at root, by the alienation of labor value from its generators. Environmentalists have added the concept of unalienated ecological value, and rights activists added the unalienated expressive value of free speech, sexuality, spirituality, etc. Marx’s vision for restoring an unalienated world by top-down economic governance was never fulfilled. But in the last 30 years, new forms of social justice have emerged that operate as “bottom-up”. Peer-to-peer production such as open source software or wikipedia has challenged the corporate grip on IP in a “gift exchange” of labor value; community based agroecology establishes a kind of gift exchange with our nonhuman allies in nature. DIY citizenship from feminist makerspaces to queer biohacking has profound implications for a new materialism of the “knowledge commons”; and restorative approaches to civil rights can challenge the prison-industrial complex. In contrast to top-down “distributive justice,” all of the above are cases of bottom-up or “generative justice”.
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Challenges to Conserving the Congo Basin Rainforest


Across Africa, a new scramble for natural resources is underway, and Cameroon is in its crosshairs. Thomas Smith, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, describes how the best science available is being leveraged to identify new protected areas in the face of resource extraction and climate change. He also describes the unique effort to build the Center for Integrative Development in Central Africa. Finally, he discusses a new initiative in Cameroon to reduce global emissions by avoiding deforestation in Cameroon, using emissions fees paid by climate gas emitters in the developed world.

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In the Land of Frankincense


Ashley Hamer writing in Roads and Kingdoms:
High up on a steep, rocky hillside, thin, young men clamber deftly among the branches of small trees. Each of them—t-shirts torn and feet wrapped in cloth against the thorns—carries a basket and chisel.

A sticky sap seeps from slices in the bark of these Boswellia frereana and carterii trees, which grow wild in the rugged hills of Somaliland, a fragile, self-declared territory in northern Somalia. Over several weeks, the sap will harden into clots of amber resin called frankincense...[more]

Abagore - Empowering Entrepreneural Rural Women in Rwanda


Hosted by Chika Ezeanya amongst others a view of indigenous enterprise and ingenuity:
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Meet Kenya's podcasting 'sex queens'


via the BBC
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Mo Ibrahim on Governance in Africa


Stuart Reid of Foreign Affairs in discussion with Mo Ibrahim:
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West Africa’s Decisive Intervention: A Lesson in Strategy


B.A. Friedman writing in The Strategy Bridge:


The waning weeks of 2016 and the first month of 2017 witnessed one of the most strategically effective uses of military force in the 21st century. When long-time President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, refused to step down after being voted out of office, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sponsored a Senegalese-led intervention that forced Jammeh to leave the country. This intervention upheld the integrity of the Gambian democratic process and allowed the victor, Adama Barrow, to assume leadership of the small West African country. The ECOWAS intervention force assembled the means to impose its will on their opponent, formulated and executed a strategy calibrated to achieve the political effects desired, and achieved af its policy goals--all without firing a single shot...[more]

Apply to the The HiiL Justice Accelerator


Apply now
The HiiL Justice Accelerator finds and supports the world's best justice entrepreneurs in order to create access to justice for all.
  • Particularly in Africa and the Middle East but also across the world, through local partners and supporters we locate justice entrepreneurs and in many cases add them to our "Innovation Database. 
  • Through a series of local training events as well as the yearly Justice Entrepreneurship School in The Hague, we provide training to justice entrepreneurs in the skills they need most to manage and lead their innovations.
  • By offering seed funding, as well as access to potential future follow-on funding, we fund justice entrepreneurs with the cash they need to grow their innovations.
  • Finally we offer acceleration and business services to justice entrepreneurs to help get them on the right track to scaling their innovations.

A Non-Western GeoEconomic World is Emerging and Asserting itself - Emerge85


On Emerge 85:
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In a world where 85% of the population lives outside Northern America and Europe, and where commercial and technological connectivity has scaled unprecedented heights, we believe it is vital to explore this '85 world' unconstrained by region-specific classifications, outdated Cold War-era mindsets, and small-picture thinking.

We are living amidst a global geo-economic transformation, centring on the rise of emerging markets, the growth of a new global middle class, rapid urbanisation, and unprecedented physical and technological connectivity. A new economic and commercial world is emerging, and we aim to explore it in all its dimensions. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Regarding the promise of the Emirati Economic Corridor, Mishaal Al Gergawi of Emerge 85 writes:
As immigration to Europe and North America becomes more difficult, and as the ambitions of the citizens, companies, and states of the 85 world grow, the UAE has an opportunity to emerge as the postmodern capital of the 85 world. Everywhere else is too local, too conscious of its identity. The UAE, while culturally cognisant, is capable of hosting others without a sense of loss; this is one of the only places in the world where residents have found professional success without having to speak the local language. Can it now pursue something more?
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The Challenge of the Indigenous Arms Industry: The Ascendant and Dependent Classes


David Davidian writes:
Just as Niccolo Machiavelli noted the unreliability of mercenaries [1] and interpretations of Sun Tzu [2] claiming a mercenary's real value is not more than half a native soldier, one can extrapolate from these observations to deduce that the most effective arms industry is indigenous. While this may not be much of a revaluation, its implementation, especially in developing countries (and even developed countries), is becoming exponentially difficult...[more]

A Vocational “Skills Initiative for Africa”


A post from Karsten Weitzenegger:
Kick-start of new “Skills Initiative for Africa”, to create jobs and income opportunities for Africa’s youth The growing extent of youth unemployment poses a fundamental challenge for the whole of Africa. In total, around 60 percent of the unemployed are under the age of 25 and young women are especially affected. It is against this backdrop that the Skills Initiative for Africa promotes occupational prospects of young Africans through the support of innovative skills development programs and a close cooperation with the private sector.

Logo_nepadIt is in response to this huge challenge that the African Union Commission and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), initiated the Skills Initiative for Africa. Execution of this programme is being undertaken by the NEPAD Agency with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale and Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and KfW Development Bank
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Ethnoparasitology in Mali


A talk by Omar M. Amin founder of the Parasitology Center:
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Maami: by Chiedozie Dike


In Afreada a short story by Chiedozie Dike:
I know that Maami loves me. She’s never said so to me, but she’s shown me, with gentility and with fire. Her soft, perfumed bosom is home, her thick arms feel like bands of protection encircling me each time they wrap me in one of her powerful, most times sudden, embraces. And those embraces have been coming more and more of late, as though she were taking advances on all the hugs due her in the future neither of us could hope for anymore...[more]

‘Africa needs good governance, not economic models’ - Mo Ibrahim


Marcel Mbamalu reporting for the Guardian:
Business leaders at the ongoing Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland believe that good governance, not economic models, would halt economic degeneration and engender growth in Africa.

The plenary session, comprising Mo Ibrahim of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Pierre Guislain (Africa Development Bank) and Abebe Aemro Selassie of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), yesterday blamed African governments for the continent’s dwindling economic fortunes...[more]

Last chance to save the Ekuri people's rainforest in #Nigeria !


From Rain Forest Rescue:
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Spectacular trees reach for the sky in one of the last rainforests in densely-populated Nigeria. The forest – habitat of chimpanzees and forest elephants and home to the indigenous Ekuri – is about to be destroyed for a superhighway to nowhere. The Ekuri are standing up against the project and need international support – please sign!
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Most people are secretly threatened by creativity


Jennifer Mueller writing in Quartz:
Creativity is highly prized in Western society—much touted by cultures that claim to value individualism and the entrepreneurial spirit. But scratch beneath the surface, and it turns out that a lot of schools and businesses aren’t actually all that excited about bold new ideas. By and large, we tend to be threatened by creativity—and eager to shut it down...[more]

“Le Luminarie” by Saki Mafundikwa


"Just enjoy the beautiful design" - Saki Mafundikwa
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"Le Luminarie" by Saki Mafundikwa from Saki Mafundikwa on Vimeo.

- Saki Mafundikwa

Farming with Biopesticides


In SciDev:
Biopesticides are better and safer than chemical pesticides — policymakers must do more to promote them, says insect ecologist Manuele Tamò.
More here

African jurists in Asia: premodern Afro-Asian interactions


Mahmood Kooria at the International Institute for Asian Studies:
‘The Indian Ocean Muslims’ have contributed to the synthesis of Islamic history for over a millennium, but their roles have been continuously downplayed and disregarded in the historiography. Indians [al-Hindīs], Malays [al-Jāwīs] and Swahilis [al-Zanjīs], in South and Southeast Asia and East Africa respectively, interacted across the Indian Ocean highway and all shaped Islam in their own ways. Only a small number of people actually voyaged overseas physically, but they were all influenced by the ideas brought in by those who did. The history of Islamic law in the Indian Ocean world tells us the story of this general pattern of mobility across communities, doctrines, texts, sources, places and periods. In this essay, I explore the Africans who worked in South and Southeast Asia as judges, jurists, scholars and preachers in premodern period...[more]

The way we learn - in Africa - is broken. by @supersanusi


SuperSanusi writes:
I spent quite a bit of time walking around the IMPACT Challenger exhibition halls, at the IMPACT Arena, Pak Kret, in the north of Bangkok, Thailand where the ITU exhibitions took place this year and after covering most of its 60,000 square meters,(side bar: It’s the largest column-less exhibition hall in the world. I can write a whole story about the whole Arena and how it highlights our infrastructure deficit, but I’ll be digressing) a couple of things struck me, the most obvious being the difference between the way Africa approached technology as compared to the rest of the world.
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